Although the men’s basketball season officially begins in a month and a half, well under way is a different sort of competition—the unending battle for recruits—and for once in its not-so-illustrious history, Harvard hoops appears to be ahead of the pack.
The difference, of course, has been the arrival of coach Tommy Amaker over two years ago.
Interestingly enough, for all the uproar about his recruiting tactics, Amaker’s first collection of rookies failed to take the league by storm. Hampered by injuries, last year’s freshmen played more of a supporting role than a starring one.
This could all change with the next two groups of recruits.
Highly-touted prospect Kyle Casey, who spurned Stanford and Vanderbilt in favor of the Crimson, headlines a quintet of talents—all noted on the national scene—who should be ready to play immediately.
The scary thing is—the potential class of 2014 looks to be even better.
One of the biggest highlights of Amaker’s coaching tenure, right up there with the upset victories over Michigan and Boston College, came this past weekend, when five major recruits made visits to Cambridge.
The fact that Dwight Powell is even considering joining the Crimson is an accomplishment in its own right for Amaker and his staff. The 6’10”, 205 lb Canadian native is a Scout.com four-star recruit, ranked consistently among the top dozen centers in the nation, and has drawn attention from UCLA and Cal.
Throughout the summer, Stanford was thought to be Powell’s top choice—a sentiment corroborated by positive reports following his visit to the Palo Alto, Calif., campus.
Evidently, his recent trip to the East Coast made an impression.
“He left with Harvard and Stanford neck-and-neck,” one Crimson player said.
Powell is declining to make any more statements until he has completed his October visit to Georgia Tech, the remaining member of his final trio of schools. Powell said that a decision would come likely after that.
A fellow inhabitant of the top tier of hoopsters nationwide, Rod Odom has Harvard on his mind, too.
The identity of Odom’s future destination has been rife with rumors, as might be expected with a 6’9”, 210 lb prospect carrying offers from Louisville and UConn.
Having earned a four star rating from Rivals.com, the small forward took a visit to Arizona the weekend before last. Odom and his father came away with plenty of good things to say, which had led some to believe he would soon commit to the Wildcats.
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